Why is Friday the 13th considered unhappy?

Friday the 13th: where does it come from and why is it unhappy?

Today is Friday the 13th and many people will nervously watch the sky for sudden lightning strikes or falling anvils.

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in western superstition. It occurs when the 13th day of the month in the Gregorian calendar falls on a Friday, which can happen at least once a year and up to three times a year. If you are concerned about what to expect this time, you are not alone. One option is to stay in bed all day to avoid possible bad luck on Friday the 13th. Alternatively, you can ignore the superstitious gossip and embrace it.



Where does our superstition come from?

Although folklorists claim that there is no written evidence of superstition prior to the nineteenth century, the date has long been linked to infamous events in history and religion.

Biblical origins

  • Some historians have claimed it was the day Eve bit the apple from the tree of knowledge, the great flood began, and the builders of the Tower of Babel.
  • According to Catholic belief, one of the most important events in their religion took place on Friday the 13th - the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
  • In the New Testament, on Maundy Thursday, the day before Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday, 13 people were present for Jesus' last supper.

From the Knights Templar to Dan Brown

  • On Friday October 13th, Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar.
  • In his novelDa Vinci CodeDan Brown cites the execution of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay in the 14th century, which took place on Friday the 13th. He cursed the Pope and the King of France and this spread misfortune over the centuries.

Bad things that happened on Friday 13th

  • In 1976, New Yorker Daz Baxter was apparently so scared of Friday the 13th. He decided the safest place to be was his bed. Mr Baxter was killed when the floor of his apartment block collapsed that day.
  • In 2009 the £ 13.5 million SAW ride premiered at Thorpe Park, but had to be discontinued due to a bug in computer programming. Scary.
  • In 2010, a 13-year-old Suffolk boy was struck by lightning on Friday the 13th at 1:13 pm. Definitely bad luck for him.
  • During the early 1990s, retired bus conductor Bob Renphrey also vowed to stay in bed on the superstitious day after serious bad luck. The Welshman crashed four cars, fell into a river and was sacked last Friday the 13ths.

The 'statistics' from Friday the 13th.

Various studies have been published over the years that either prove or disprove the Friday 13th myth.

In 1993, a study by the British Medical Journal claimed that there was a "significant" increase in incidences on a Friday the 13th, but the study's author later confessed that it was "a bit of fun" in the Christmas issue.

Meanwhile, Dutch researchers found that you were less likely to be injured on Friday the 13th. The study hypothesized that people were more preventively cautious during the day because of superstition.